State police and the state police computer crimes unit are investigating threatening emails that were sent to state lawmakers. Police say members of the legislature started receiving the emails Friday, and the emails were similar to each other in content. State Senator Mike Nozzolio says investigators briefed members of the Senate Monday and said they "are following up on a number of leads."
The emails were written by a person who calls himself "John Doe." In the subject line of the email, John Doe writes, "News reporters, politicians, and the wealthy are all going to be targets."
Later in the email, he mentions targeting school children, writing, "If we attack a school bus full of kids, it may have no effect on the hardened criminals who rule Albany, but it will put the public in an uproar. Our goal is to create anarchy."
The writer of the email expresses anger about the elimination of labor unions and government surveillance and says he needs to "incite people to violence."
He also writes he is a state employee and adds, "Come visit my agency. Give me a chance to pull a Gabby Giffords."
Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that when he got the email on Friday, "at first I thought it was an April fool's joke." But as he read further, "It was very disturbing beacuse of all the things that were in that letter. So it certainly heightened my sensitivity that it could be something more serious than that."
Assemblyman Will Barclay said, "People are a little more leary, keeping our guard up, at the same time we're going about our business, doing what needs to be done."
There was no evidence of stepped up security at the State Office Building in Syracuse Monday, but Nozzolio says State Police have assured them they are taking extra precautions to protect them.
State police are releasing very few details at this point about their investigation. A spokesperson says investigators are treating the matter seriously, but, at this point, there is no evidence of a credible threat.
We will bring you more information about this investigation as we receive it.